Aside from the usual meanings in common parlance, what writers want to to say by the expression "from time to time", mainly in financial contract wording? It doesn't seem to me that they want to convey the idea of "occasionally" and so forth. For instance, in contracts you can see phrases such as

The meeting will be adjourned from time to time and from place to place.

I think that if I can get the meaning for "from time to time", I'll tackle the "from place to place" wording.


Adjourn has two meanings. It can mean to interrupt a meeting with the intention of resuming later, but it can also mean to move.

Your quoted sentence could be written as

The meeting will be moved from time to time and from place to place.

Or even clearer

The meeting time and place will change.

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  • I guess I have to get up pretty early in the morning to beat Ed Guiness to the answers. My father-in-law is a judge and he uses this meaning of adjourn in (his) common parlance, much to his own amusement. For instance, "let us adjourn to the living room after this delightful repast." – Kit Z. Fox May 20 '11 at 11:42
  • @Kit 2.5 hours earlier would have been enough here. – Ed Guiness May 20 '11 at 11:54

Immediately I thought that you meant "occasionally," but then I saw that you had already considered that; that is the most common use of "from time to time."

It seems from the context that the excerpt might mean "the time of the meeting varies," but it definitely seems awkward to me. You could easily say "the meeting time will vary."

The same is said of "from place to place"; it means the same as "the meeting location will vary."

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  • Those miss the part of the meaning that the meeting will be suspended at some time, and continue again at a different time and/or place. – Colin Fine May 20 '11 at 14:19

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